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parts washer vs converted dishwasher.

arse_sidewards

Contrary to everything
Joined
May 19, 2020
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Which should I get?

I know I can run non-water based cleaners in the parts washer but I feel like if a dishwasher running purple power will be 95% as good and I can just do more cycles if it doesn't come out clean the first time. The zero labor aspect of being able to throw parts in and come back later is also appealing. Parts washers can be found for under $100 locally. Working dishwashers are free but I figure after plumbing a tank, filter, a little bit of wiring and whatnot it would come out about the same.
 
Is there any way to make a cheap hot tank? That would be ideal imo.
The dishwasher conversion does strike my curiosity though. I like that idea for my shop.
 
Is there any way to make a cheap hot tank? That would be ideal imo.
The dishwasher conversion does strike my curiosity though. I like that idea for my shop.

It's literally just a heated tank of solvent. Old water heater with the top replaced with a lid and full of cleaning solvent would probably work. There's tons of builds online and youtube videos.

I want something more versatile that I don't need 40-60gal of solvent for though.
 
It's literally just a heated tank of solvent. Old water heater with the top replaced with a lid and full of cleaning solvent would probably work. There's tons of builds online and youtube videos.

I want something more versatile that I don't need 40-60gal of solvent for though.

The hot tanks I've seen power wash the parts. It doesn't actually get dipped into the solvent. Open door put parts on grate, shut door turn power on and it cycles through like a dishwasher. I wouldn't want to deal with that much solvent all time either, just so my parts could bathe in it lol.
i think the dishwasher conversion may be the closest to what i would be looking for. Now i want to set one up:laughing:
 
It's literally just a heated tank of solvent. Old water heater with the top replaced with a lid and full of cleaning solvent would probably work. There's tons of builds online and youtube videos.

I want something more versatile that I don't need 40-60gal of solvent for though.

Why not just mount heating elements like electric range burners on the bottom of a solvent tank and use a thermostat to control the heat?
 
The hot tanks I've seen power wash the parts. It doesn't actually get dipped into the solvent. Open door put parts on grate, shut door turn power on and it cycles through like a dishwasher. I wouldn't want to deal with that much solvent all time either, just so my parts could bathe in it lol.
i think the dishwasher conversion may be the closest to what i would be looking for. Now i want to set one up:laughing:

Good for you. Sounds a lot like a dishwasher. This is giving me zero help choosing which to get.
 
I was trying to clean some clay silt dirt off some HO train cars that had been in a flood. I put them in the dishwasher and succeeded in filthing up the dishwasher while simultaneously not cleaning the cars. I then had to run the dishwasher twice more before the warden saw it. Then I bought the ultrasonic cleaner.

I vote parts washer.

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Why not just mount heating elements like electric range burners on the bottom of a solvent tank and use a thermostat to control the heat?

Because I'm not building a hot tank and if I were water heaters, electric or gas, are readily available for free with nothing more than pinhole leaks that need fixing.
 
I was trying to clean some clay silt dirt off some HO train cars that had been in a flood. I put them in the dishwasher and succeeded in filthing up the dishwasher while simultaneously not cleaning the cars. I then had to run the dishwasher twice more before the warden saw it. Then I bought the ultrasonic cleaner.

I vote parts washer.

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I've had good luck cleaning automotive stuff in other people's dishwashers. I'm planning on getting an ultrasonic cleaner eventually but they can't fit very big parts for how much they cost. Brake calipers or something, sure but I would like something that can do cylinder heads.
 
I've had good luck cleaning automotive stuff in other people's dishwashers. I'm planning on getting an ultrasonic cleaner eventually but they can't fit very big parts for how much they cost. Brake calipers or something, sure but I would like something that can do cylinder heads.

That's cool. It didn't work for what I was trying to do, and I'm the only one who voted in this clusterthread. :flipoff2:

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Before this gets too de-railed:

The plan would be to pick up a free dishwasher and stick a tank (plastic gas tank) above/below it for the dishwasher to fill/drain from/to and to filter the contents of that tank.

Is it safe to assume that gravity fill is sufficient and that the dishwasher pump can handle the ~2ft of head? Is a dishwasher drain pump going to be capable of pumping through a filter or will I need a dedicated circulation pump for that? I'm trying to figure out exactly what the cost of a dishwasher build would be so I can compare a parts washer to that.
 
Good for you. Sounds a lot like a dishwasher. This is giving me zero help choosing which to get.

a dishwasher specifically built for the heavy ass parts you are asking about, So not a dishwasher, a pressure washer for parts:flipoff2:(Spray was cabinet)
The only reason i even injected myself into this is because i don't see a dishwasher standing up to the abuses of shop life for long. So if your 2 options are parts washer and dishwasher, i vote parts washer:rolleyes:
 
by "parts washer" you mean 'little pump with brush on end of hose' sorta deal, right?

I'd like to try the dish washer deal
at work we've got both the solvent type "little pump with brush on hose" parts washer, and also the "1hp pump, 12 spray nozzles, 6000w element, 1/4hp turntable" type of parts washer

both have their uses, the heated aqueous one does take a lot of electric, takes about 2hr to heat up to operating temp, and it uses a special powdered soap or it rusts out real fast
 
a dishwasher specifically built for the heavy ass parts you are asking about, So not a dishwasher, a pressure washer for parts:flipoff2:(Spray was cabinet)
The only reason i even injected myself into this is because i don't see a dishwasher standing up to the abuses of shop life for long. So if your 2 options are parts washer and dishwasher, i vote parts washer:rolleyes:

This.

But you'll go ahead and do what you want to do anyhow, so why even ask for advise? :laughing:
 
Before this gets too de-railed:

The plan would be to pick up a free dishwasher and stick a tank (plastic gas tank) above/below it for the dishwasher to fill/drain from/to and to filter the contents of that tank.

Is it safe to assume that gravity fill is sufficient and that the dishwasher pump can handle the ~2ft of head? Is a dishwasher drain pump going to be capable of pumping through a filter or will I need a dedicated circulation pump for that? I'm trying to figure out exactly what the cost of a dishwasher build would be so I can compare a parts washer to that.

Didnt USMCdoc14 do that on the other site. IIRC it was gravity feed. I think it had a hot water element in the tank for preheat

If the dishwasher pump can handle it I would plumb the outlet to the top and use a filter sock as a gravity filter. They work well, are cheap and washable to some extent. I have to think that if it could pump through a screw on filter it would have the extra lift for ~2-3 ft.

I'd be all over the dishwasher route. Big fan of dump and run cycle cleanings, parts washers are too much manual work. Plus you either have to run kerosense or pay way too much for solvent and get a heater. Dishwasher is more like what the real shops use.
 
dishwasher just uses a solenoid for fill valve, it's usually on a simple timer, with the overflow prevention switch.

I don't think gravity fed from 2ft up is going to fill it fast enough. They're designed for 15ish PSI minimum. IIRC bosch says 12, samsung says 20.
but you need that much anyway or it won't fill enough.
you could trigger another pump using the fill solenoid wire, it's just 110. run it to a realy to trigger external pump to feed it.
 
dishwasher just uses a solenoid for fill valve, it's usually on a simple timer, with the overflow prevention switch.

I don't think gravity fed from 2ft up is going to fill it fast enough. They're designed for 15ish PSI minimum. IIRC bosch says 12, samsung says 20.
but you need that much anyway or it won't fill enough.
you could trigger another pump using the fill solenoid wire, it's just 110. run it to a realy to trigger external pump to feed it.

They make 12v pressure sensing pumps that would be perfect for this. Camper/travel trailers use them. Usually 12v, but I'm sure you can get them in 110.


There was a thread on the other site about this. I believe foaming was the biggest issue. You need to either use non-foaming cleaners or find a foam killing additive.
 
So at this point I'm 99% sure I'm going dishwasher. The only reason I asked about the parts washer was to confirm that I wasn't way off base and that these two methods of cleaning weren't for totally different use cases. The fact that the complaints so far have been "but you'll break the dishwasher" tells me a dishwasher won't be wildly inappropriate for what I'm doing.



That was the build I was thinking of but couldn't find it.

I vote female Mexican dishwasher. She can also sweep up, make sandwiches and give massages.

So do I but my girlfriend might not like that.
 
the nice thing about dishwasher is that it's already built to heat water and shit inside it.

long term i'm sure that petroleum and solvents and shit will kill a dishwasher.
how long is that?
no idea.
lets find out.
and even if it does, what's a new one on facebook marketplace gonna cost?
 
I used a roll around, sink connected dishwasher like these for a couple of years. The top made for counter space, and it worked off of the sink.

I think I paid $75 for it on craigslist

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I used a roll around, sink connected dishwasher like these for a couple of years. The top made for counter space, and it worked off of the sink.

I think I paid $75 for it on craigslist

Our first dishwasher when we moved to the farm, when I was a kid was one of those. One of my chores was dishes, we ran out of dish detergent, I didn't know any better, I thought soap was soap, so I loaded the soap door up with Surf powder, laundry, detergent. I filled 1/3 of the kitchen with soap suds. Mom was not amused. :lmao:
 
Our first dishwasher when we moved to the farm, when I was a kid was one of those. One of my chores was dishes, we ran out of dish detergent, I didn't know any better, I thought soap was soap, so I loaded the soap door up with Surf powder, laundry, detergent. I filled 1/3 of the kitchen with soap suds. Mom was not amused. :lmao:

I also grew up with one, I put regular dawn liquid in ours with much the same result when I was about 10.
 
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